0859 GMT June 20, 2019
The statement released after a meeting between the ambassadors of the three European countries with representatives from the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) and the countries’ technical experts in Tehran.
INSTEX’s representatives and E3 technical experts also held talks with the relevant Iranian experts and counterparts.
“These discussions, funded by the EU TAIEX instrument, have helped advance our collective efforts to ensure trade with Iran that is compliant with EU and international law can continue, including through the special purpose vehicle, INSTEX,” the statement said.
"We understand the economic pressure the Iranian people are facing. We are committed to working with Iran to deliver INSTEX’s first transaction as quickly as possible. Expert exchanges of this nature are the best way to move us closer toward delivering on our shared goal to facilitate legitimate trade and economic relations with Iran. In light of the above, both sides have agreed a roadmap to expedite progress, the statement said.
INSTEX was introduced by the Europe to persuade Iran to remain in the 2015 nuclear agreement which the United States unilaterally left last year.
The Europeans say INSTEX will support legitimate trade with Iran, applying initially only to non-sanctionable essential goods, such as humanitarian, medical, and farm products.
They have said it will function under the highest international standards with regards to anti-money laundering mechanisms, combating the financing of terrorism as well as EU and UN sanctions compliance.
The Trump administration is now weighing sanctions on Iran’s counterpart to the European financial mechanism, Iran’s Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI).
US authorities are reportedly worried that other nations, including America's adversaries, could use INSTEX as a model in the future and avoid the US financial system entirely.
The trade of humanitarian goods, such as food, medicine and medical devices, is theoretically allowed by the US, but European companies refuse to do business with Iran, fearing secondary American sanctions.